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Waterworth Park restrooms complete

SALEM — The restroom renovation at Waterworth Memorial Park near the concession stand is complete and Parks Director Shane Franks said one recent user’s reaction was simply “wow.”

“Great upgrade. I’m pleased with it all and happy to see that it’s done,” Franks said.

The bill for J. Herbert Construction, the local company which did the work, appeared on this month’s expenditure report for the Salem Parks Commission. Franks talked about the finished project during the commission meeting Wednesday night at Centennial Park.

The majority of the cost will be covered by a grant Franks helped secure from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The NatureWorks grant covers 75 percent or $31,500 of the cost reimbursable to the parks department. Another $5,000 will be covered by the Salem Community Foundation. The parks department will be responsible for $5,000 of the cost.

Franks has been working on sprucing up the concession stand, pressure washing it, priming it and painting it. Parks Foreman Jim Grimm reported that paper towel dispensers have been installed in all the restrooms and he commented that the public is keeping the restrooms in all the parks relatively clean, which commissioners appreciated.

The expenditure report also showed an expense of $1,725 to R & R Sealing for the parks department’s half of the cost for repairing, sealing cracks and sealing the entire parking lot at the parks office on Oak Street. The other half of the $3,450 cost was paid by Ed Silvario, who owns the other half of the lot.

Franks said it’s a nice upgrade and not a bad investment. The city bought the building for the parks department, but the department is responsible for maintaining the property.

In another financial matter, he reported the department paid out $3,705 for softball and pavilion refunds. Before COVID-19 hit, close to 80 girls had already registered for the softball league. They had the option of getting a refund or having the fee already paid applied to next year’s cost since this season was shut down. Most went for the refund. Several pavilion rentals had also been made, but the money had to be returned since they can’t be rented due to the social gathering rule.

Commission Vice Chair Lucille Karnofel raised an issue with the sharing of expenses for winter snow removal and ice control with Silverio, who owns the building space attached to the parks department office where there’s a physical therapy practice. She asked who mows the lawn and learned the parks department cuts all the grass. She said the cost should be shared.

She had previously questioned the cost for the snow and ice removal, which Franks said is a necessity because of the patients, many who may be on crutches. Commission Chairman John Panezott said to bring parks personnel in on the weekend and early in the morning or throughout the day to keep the lot and sidewalk clear wouldn’t be possible.

“We did it for the Memorial Building,” she said, saying this should be no different.

Franks said he would like to leave it the way it is, with Grimm suggesting the idea of looking at other contractors for the work. Commission member Lori Colian suggesting coming up with a breakdown of the cost for mowing the grass. Karnofel said some consideration should be given for the grass mowing.

Franks said he’ll invite Silverio to the next meeting.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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